Derek and Gina Navarro
Visitacion Valley Grocery Outlet
In running the Visitation Valley Grocery Outlet, Derek and Gina Navarro count on their strong teamwork. “Our goal was to combine our talents and work together. We always hoped we would have the opportunity to own our own business, and Grocery Outlet’s values aligned with ours,” Derek said.
No novice to the grocery industry, Derek began his career as a bagger at 16 years old. He worked his way up the ladder, but always wanted to do his own thing. After seeing friends and colleagues make successful transitions to Grocery Outlet, Derek and his wife, Gina, opted for the training program. With young children, they decided that the timing was right and the opportunity was great. “We wanted to take a risk, try our hardest, and be able to provide a comfortable lifestyle for our family,” Gina said.
The store offer in Visitacion Valley lured the couple for a few reasons: Less competition in a highly populated area presented them with a strong opportunity for financial success, and to answer a public need. “We’ve opened a store in a community that really needed access to fresh, affordable groceries. Customers constantly come in and tell us how thankful they are that we’re in the neighborhood,” Gina said. This outpouring of support has confirmed to the Navarros that they chose the right location, and they are committed to serve and give back to this community. They have already planned thoughtful events that have helped turn the store into a community hub, where neighbors come to connect with one another.
With the high unemployment rate in San Francisco, the Owner/Operator husband and wife team notes the deep impact and dedicated impression their store has seemed to have already made on the neighborhood. “Most of our employees were hired through a workforce agency, and they all live within blocks of the store,” Derek said. “They walk over to work, and for them, it’s a real sense of pride and ownership; they want to help build something for the community. Family is a theme we’ve noticed throughout Grocery Outlet, and our employees and customers have become ours. We did this for our personal family, as our family business, but the correlation between our store and its working culture and the neighbors around the store is undeniable.”
In their quest to achieve the American dream, the Navarros have helped others to navigate and build upon their dreams as well.